How old am I?

Why, I’m so old I remember when one Member of Congress didn’t accuse other Members of the crime of bribery on the floor of the House in the absence of any evidence, and when making such a baseless accusation would have led to having words taken down, and perhaps to censure.

You have to sympathize with the Republicans. They were so sure that they had lied and obstructed their way to preventing health care reform, and now Intrade has reform at 85% likely to pass before the end of June. So they’re making false accusations and forging documents. God only knows how crazy they’re going to go after the thing passes.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

19 thoughts on “How old am I?”

  1. Not to mention the Republicans' silence about their openly bribing a retiring Representative when they wanted to pass a bill – or, rather, threatening to withhold campaign funds from his son and heir.

  2. You should consider reading the hyperlinked items you post. It will help you avoid the deceit you so easily accuse Republicans of committing. No where in the Ambiner article, does he allege that Steele or Republicans "forged" the memo discussed and in fact thinks it likely to have come from a Democrat or group of Democrats. Moreover, insofar as every poll shows that more Americans are against the health care bill than for it, and Democrats outnumber Republicans, maybe your God only knows who all these other people are besides Republicans that will go crazy after the "thing" passes; and "thing" is a good choice of words, as all indications are that the things passing the thing will not have read the thing.

  3. Joel, polls do show a slight plurality opposing the bill. But that's an effective scare campaign at work: strong majorities support the bill's contents if polled about them, not the dread "Obamacare".

  4. "every poll shows that more Americans are against the health care bill than for it"

    But of course half of those are "against" the Thing because it doesn't do enough. You want to try to argue that more Americans support the Republican alternative (which is…nothing)? Good luck with that.

  5. …but you weren't even born when Preston Brooks caned Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the Senate. And do you remember a time when supreme court judges were not insulted at state of the union addresses by the president? So it's all a matter of perspective.

    I remember a time when our country use to believe that it was the constitutional thing to do to have an up or down vote on major legislation. First this whole healthcare thing started out with reconciliation, now it's "deem and pass" and the "slaughter rule". Throw in some "Louisiana Purchase" and "Cornhusker Kickback" and you get an idea of what radical liberal Dems feel they have to do to try and pass it. By the way, did everyone see the new CBO estimate, that the latest provisions in the bill will wipe out any forecasted deficit reduction and leave us $59 billion in the red? Time to put spinnin' rims and neon lights on that cadillac plan.

  6. Bux, you are aware that the “Cornhusker Kickback” is coming out of the bill?

    And that the (R) folks had no problem with Deem & Pass when they were in the majority?

    Sadly, yes. You are, but don't care for honestry.

  7. Nice work Bux, lamenting about the absence of an up or down vote when the whole procedural kerfuffle is because your friends in the Senate won't allow an up of down vote. And yet, you do want to be taken seriously, don't you.

  8. Michael Drake

    "But of course half of those are “against” the Thing because it doesn’t do enough."

    And where exactly is your support for that statement? All indications suggest that the following taken from the Rasmussen and Gallup are more indicative of the reasons why most Americans do not support the current health care bill:


    "Opposition continues to stem in part from unchanging views that the plan will drive up the cost and worsen the quality of health care in America. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters also believe the health care reform plan now working its way through Congress will hurt the U.S. economy.

    “Despite the plan’s stated goal of reducing health care costs, 55% of voters believe the cost of health care will go up if the Democrats’ plan becomes law. Just 18% say it will make costs go down. Twenty percent (20%) predict costs will stay about the same.

    Similarly, just 24% of voters think the quality of health care will be better if the plan is passed. Fifty-two percent (52%) say quality will get worse, and another 19% say it will stay the same.”

    "The president and congressional Democrats have attempted to demonize health insurance companies to build support for the plan. But when it comes to health insurance decisions, 51% fear the federal government more than they fear private insurance companies. Thirty-nine percent (39%) fear private insurers more."

    From Gallup:

    "The findings that more Americans believe the new legislation will make things worse rather than better for the U.S. as a whole, as well as for them personally, are consistent with previous Gallup polls showing a slight negative tilt when Americans are asked if they support the new plan."

    None of these reasons suggest opposition based on the bill not going far enough. If you have credible evidence supporting your assertion, please provide it.

  9. Correct me if I'm wrong, but what I'm reading says Rep. Gordon announced he was voting for the Senate bill that is expected to come up for a vote on Sunday. Exactly what justification does the NYTimes get off calling that "the House reconciliation bill"? There is nothing "reconciliation" about it.

  10. Remfin, the House has a single bill that combines the Senate bill and the Reconciliation sidecars.

    Joel, you're really bragging that polling shows people absorbed the dishonest slanders of the bill?

  11. Warren:

    Brilliant argument. Next time you may want to use the one about my mother and her penchant for combat boots.

  12. Joel, I said you shouldn't quote poll results showing people believe falsehoods about the bill as proof they don't approve of what the bill would actually do. In what way is this empty and ad hominem?

  13. what evidence do you have that it's falsehoods about the bill Warren? I know this is hard for you to even conceive of, but did you ever think that it might be true

  14. Bux, despite the smear campaign there are no serious arguments, even from right-wing think tanks, that the bill will damage the economy or make care more expensive or worse, compared to doing nothing.

  15. Is that what you call evidence Warren? CBO itself points out that the latest iteration of the bill will actually put us in the red. This isn't right-wing analysts, this is CBO. So again, what evidence do you have of falsehoods?

  16. Bux, the CBO says that the bill will lower the deficit by less than the separate "doc fix" medicare fee increase will raise it. The doc fix happens every year and will happen with or without the bill.

  17. Warren:

    "despite the smear campaign there are no serious arguments, even from right-wing think tanks, that the bill will damage the economy or make care more expensive or worse, compared to doing nothing."

    Each time you comment, you jam another toe into your mouth. I couldn't find "right-wing think," so I went to the Hoover Institute and CATO websites, which you could have done. By the way, which right-wing web sites did you look at Warren? Anyway if go the ones mentioned, you will see discussions not only about the adverse impact that government run health care will have on the economy, but on state of health care in general. I haven't checked lately but you will also see arguments against government run health care at the Ayn Rand Institute, which statests often label right-wing when they are unable to formulate rational counterarguments to their arguments. I will not bother quoting from either site, not for fear of being accused of "bragging," but because I don't think you really care about anything that might disturb you world view, whether it be fact or reason. That is why you play fast and loose with the facts, making statements you cannot back up.

    Your beliefs are so deeply ingrained, that notwithstanding the financial crisis and the role played by "affordable housing" in that crisis, you eagerly await "affordable health care," somehow believing it will be different. And anyone who does not share your belief seems to be deceived, deceiving, Lucifer or worse, a right-wing Republican.

    And spare me any BS about Medicare and how efficient it is. It's so efficient that last I read over one-fifth of all doctors are not accepting Medicare patients and the number is rising. Regarding efficiency and Medicare, I also recommend reading the October, 2009 GAO report about CMS and its lack of internal controls.

    Finally, regarding the CBO scoring, you may wish to look at Greg Mankiw's caution about relying on it because of its unrealistic assumption regarding GDP.

  18. Joel

    1)The Ayn Rand institute? Was the L Ron Hubbard institute unavailable?

    2)Mantras of "Government Bad" hardly count as reasoned argument.

    3)Unless CBO claimed the bill would boost GDP, GDP is moot.

Comments are closed.